DIAMM Project Director Elizabeth Eva Leach has created the first Virtual Learning Environment in medieval musicology to enable those with an interest in the original source material for 14th-century French Music to learn to read and understand the original manuscripts that provide the source material for music from this period. In particular this module is useful for studying the works of Guillaume de Machaut, a particular research interest of Prof Leach.
Unlike many Oxford Virtual Learning systems, this one is not limited to Oxford participants, but is open to anyone interested in the subject, and is already used by nearly 100 users worldwide, from a very international array of countries and cities.
The VLE was designed because the need for teaching in this field is lacking in many universities who have dropped medieval studies from musicology courses. However there is also clearly a ‘non-university’ group of potential users for whom the complexities of the notation were preventing them from engaging with their musical heritage. Clearly the outreach and impact aspects of this course design are significant: this is a relatively small field, yet already has nearly 100 users who have completed the tutorials and quizzes. It is not intended to replace conventional teaching, but in many cases it has provided tutors with an introductory course that allows them to spend more time during their lecturing and tutorial timetable in dealing with more advanced issues than they would otherwise have been able to address.
Funding is being sought to expand the VLE to embrace other types of non-modern notation that would be difficult to understand and read without tuition. The DIAMM VLE is a free resource offered to anyone interested in medieval music, and is part of the DIAMM early music online resource.
You can visit the DIAMM VLE and try out the tutorials and quizzes yourself by creating your own user account.
Users of the DIAMM VLE have thus far come from the following countries and cities: Canada (Vancouver); France (Montpellier, Paris); Germany (Berlin, Weimar); Ireland (Limerick); the Netherlands (Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Arkel, Arnhem, Delft, Den Haag, Geertruidenberg, Hilversum, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Leusden, Scherpenzeel, Utrecht, Weert, Wijchen, Wintelre, Zaltbommel, Zeist); Romania (Resita); Russian Federation (Nizhny Novgorod); USA (Ann Arbor, Beloit, Bloomington, Boonton, Carrboro, Cleveland, Denton TX, Denver, Durham, Garland, Lancaster, Macon, Mohnton PA, Myersville, Oakland, Orefield, Palo Alto, Philadelphia, Princeton, Shaker Heights OH, Shelburne, St Louis, Tallahassee), and the UK (Brighton, Conwy, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, London, Oxford, Pinner, Sutton Coldfield).